Cameras


9 Film Cameras You Can Buy Right Now

April 20, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

Mint InstantFlex TL70

This self-consciously retro camera boasts a large viewfinder with an anti-glare glass pane. Its five-bladed leaf shutter lens gives you more control over the aperture than your typical instant camera with a range of f/5.6-22. If you’re fond of surprises, each model has a unique “f=aperture” mode where the aperture blade forms a different non-circular shape for a unique bokeh—you won’t know what shape your camera will make until you shoot it. You can focus on objects as close 48cm from the front of the lens. You can control exposure valuation by +/- a stop and there’s a built-in flash, ambient light meter and a slow shutter mode for light painting. The front of the lens uses fluoride coating to make it easier to clean off dirt and smudges. The InstantFlex takes Fuji’s Instax mini film.

PRICE: $389
INFO: mint-camera.com/en/

Leica M7

While Leica has updated its digital rangefinder line with the new M10, they haven’t abandoned the M’s analogue heritage. This classic Leica rangefinder takes 35mm film and offers both complete manual control and an aperture priority mode if you want to let the camera do some of the exposure calculating for you. You’ll enjoy flash sync speeds of up to 1/1000 sec. when using select Metz speedlights. You can set the ISO manually or have the camera detect film speed and set ISO automatically. You have +/- two stops of exposure correction available to tweak your photo and the camera can fire at 1/60 or 1/125 shutter speeds even if its battery is dead.

PRICE: $4,395
INFO: www.leica.us

Polaroid SX-70

The SX-70 may have been put to pasture by the bankruptcy of Polaroid, but refurbished models can still be had from the Impossible Project. The SX-70 accepts Impossible SX-70 instant film and has an automatic variable shutter/aperture system. You can focus on objects as close as 10.2 inches away and there’s a lighten/darken wheel to adjust exposure. Given its refurb status, any SX-70 you spring for may show some wear and tear but the electronics are repaired and the cameras are restored by hand. Plus, they come with a one-year warranty.

PRICE: $400
INFO: www.us.impossible-project.com

 

The I-1 is an instant film camera for the modern age.

Impossible Project I-1

After riding to the rescue of the last, abandoned Polaroid film factory, the Impossible Project took the next logical leap and developed an instant film camera of its own. The I-1 accepts Impossible’s 600 and I-type films. It has an autofocusing lens and an LED ring flash that doubles as a film counter, alerting you to the number of exposures you have left. Thanks to Bluetooth, the I-1 can pair with your iPhone and tap a number of creative shooting modes made possible by the Impossible Project’s free app. Using the app, you can light paint, take long exposures, take double exposures, manually control camera settings (flash intensity, shutter speed, focusing distance, etc.) as well as set the camera to fire when your phone detects noise.

PRICE: $350
INFO: www.us.impossible-project.com

Leica SOFORT

Leica is typically known for its highly engineered, high-end digital cameras, so the SOFORT came as something of a pleasant Photokina surprise. This instant camera offers several photo modes including automatic, self-portrait, self-timer, sports, party & people and macro. There’s a tiny mirror on the front of the camera to help you compose your selfie. The camera features a 60mm f/12.7 lens (34mm in 35mm equivalence) with a 1/400 sec. max shutter speed, optical viewfinder and a 100-exposure battery life. If you want more manual control you’ll be able to change focusing distance, turn the flash on or off, or increase/decrease image brightness. The SOFORT works with both color and black-and-white film, and the films are sold in packs of 10 with a double pack of 20 available for color film. Leica is selling its own branded film packs but the SOFORT also accepts Instax mini film. The camera is available in orange, mint or white.

PRICE: $300
INFO: www.us.leica.com

Nikon FM10

While it’s boom times for instant cameras, very few film SLRs endure on the market outside of eBay and other secondhand retailers. Nikon’s FM10 is a rare exception. This 35mm SLR accepts several lenses, including AF-S and AF-D models. It’s a manual camera, so you’ll lose autofocusing if you attach an autofocus lens to this camera. Exposure control and film advancement are also all done manually. The FM10 offers shutter speeds from 1-1/2000 sec. and you’ll get a Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5-4.8 lens in the box.

PRICE: $600
INFO: www.nikonusa.com

Fujifilm Instax mini 70

Fujifilm’s Instax mini cameras have been hot sellers, particularly among teenagers, defying the popular wisdom that smartphones have cannibalized our appetite for tangible snapshots. The mini 70 has a selfie mode (naturally) to set autofocus and brightness levels to ideal portrait settings. There’s a built-in mirror on the front of the camera lens to properly compose said selfie and a self timer to give you a moment to strike a pose. The camera has several modes for more creative snapshots, including a hi-key mode to brighten skin tones, a macro mode for tight close-ups from 1 foot away and a landscape mode to accentuate those rolling vistas.

PRICE: $140
INFO: www.fujifilmusa.com

Lomo ‘Instant Automat

As its name suggests, the Automat can do most of the work for you, automatically adjusting aperture, shutter speed and flash output based on shooting conditions. It uses Fuji’s Instax mini film and sports a 35mm-equivalent fixed lens. You can take an unlimited number of exposures in a single frame. Shutter speeds range from 30 seconds to 1/250 sec. and the camera’s aperture opens up to f/8 and stops down to f/22. There’s a built-in flash, tripod mount and an LED exposure counter. The Automat uses a three-zone focusing system that you adjust by turning a dial on the lens. While the camera does the thinking for you, you can still nudge exposure compensation up or down a stop to cope with changes in lighting. The Automat works with an infrared remote control so you can trigger the camera from a distance of 5 meters indoors or about 1-2 meters outside in the sun.

PRICE: $149
INFO: www.lomography.com

Kodak Super 8mm

Kodak stunned the world in 2016 when it announced it would produce a Super 8mm film camera, but the journey from announcement to tangible product has taken a bit longer than the company planned. Now expected in May, Kodak’s Super 8mm movie camera offers several frame rates include 18, 24, 25 and 36 fps. It has a 6mm lens with manual focusing and manual iris control. You’ll be able to preview your scene through a 3.5-inch display and record audio to an SD card via a built-in mic. Kodak will include developing, processing and a digital transfer in the price of the film, so everything is taken care of up front. You’ll mail in your exposed film and receive a digital file and film strip back in the mail.

PRICE: TBD
INFO: www.kodak.com

New Films

It’s not just cameras. Here are new emulsions hitting the market in 2017.

Kodak EKTACHROME

It wouldn’t be a CES without a Kodak film surprise. This year’s head-turner is the planned resurrection of EKTACHROME slide film in the fourth quarter of the year. The film, which was discontinued in 2012, will be compatible with 135-36x cameras. Beyond the still film, Kodak also plans to launch an EKTACHROME Super 8 film to support its Super 8 movie camera.

PRICE: TBD
INFO: www.kodak.com

Fuji Instax Mini Monochrome & Instax Wide

The ISO 800 Monochrome Instax film comes in a cartridge of 10 and is stable in temperatures as low as 41 degrees F or as high as 104 degrees F. Fuji is also planning to launch a square (1:1) format Instax film and camera in the Spring, but as of this writing hasn’t released any details.

PRICE: $14 (Monochrome 10 pack)
INFO: www.fujifilmusa.com

FILM Ferrania P30

Kodak isn’t alone in resurrecting defunct films. FILM Ferrania is bringing its P30 film back to life as a 35mm still format. According to the company, the ISO 80 film boasts a very high silver content (5 grams per square meter) and an ultra-fine grain.

PRICE: TBD
INFO: www.filmferrania.it